Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today marks the three year anniversary of my business. Its inception wasn't the result of a genius business plan, or months of preparation or some late-night creative inspiration. No, quite simply, three years ago today, I lost my job. A job I loved. A job that came with a near six figure salary, a corner office overlooking Peachtree Street and a boss I adored. And it all vanished.

After the obligatory crying, panicking and desperate calls to friends, I sat down at my computer in the corner of my spare bedroom and composed an email to everyone I knew, telling them I was immediately available for freelance writing and public relations work. And Scholz Communications was born.

It's not been an easy path or a direct one, but every twist and turn has led me here, and for that I am grateful.  And I'm most especially grateful for all of you--my family and friends and colleagues and clients--who have continued to believe in me and counsel me through the constant fear  and change and self-doubt.

So thank you, one and all.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blogging: Inspiration or Perspiration?

And yet another week has passed without me posting a blog.  I have plenty of ideas.  I have dozens of abandoned drafts.  And yet, nothing--bribery, guilt, inspiration or sheer will--seems to propel me toward a finished post.

I tried writing for an hour a day.  That lasted about three days.  Then I compromised with half an hour a day, which lasted, well, less than the allotted half hour.  Too tired, too busy, too uninspired, too frazzled, too much "real" work for clients, too whatever--name your excuse, and I've used it.

My real problem--because let's face it, if I have time to stalk high school boyfriends on Facebook or tweet about cheese dip for an hour every day, I have time to blog--is inspiration.  Maybe it's my free spirited nature, maybe it's my own crazy brand of perfectionism, but I have to feel "inspired" to write.  I have to be "in the moment."  If I start a blog one day, it just doesn't "sing" to me two days later.  Which of course, leads to a string of unfinished drafts and even more pressure, frustration and self-doubt.

How do I break the cycle?  How do I write when I don't "feel" like?  Does writing ever become less of a chore?  Is it always a battle of spirit and will?

Help a girl out.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Don't Give Me Diamonds

I am absolutely certain I could not do what I do, that I could not be where I am, that I would not be the person I am today without the love, trust, support, encouragement, humor, honesty and unwavering faith of my amazing husband, Tim.

He's my inspiration for living simply and openly and honestly. 

Don't Give Me Diamonds*

Don't give me diamonds
Don't give me gold
Just give me something
That's true to behold
Walk with me sweetness
Into the light
Don't give me diamonds
Just give me tonight

I never had much of nothing
I never wanted for more
I just want something
That's worth fighting for
Real love comes easy
When your heart is set right
Don't give me diamonds, baby
Just give me tonight

I can see with perfect clarity
The cut and color of your love
Your golden heart, 24 carat to me
One treasure is enough

One thing's for certain
That we can count on
Time is a jewel
That we hold in our palms
We must carry it gently
Hold it up to the light
So don't give me diamonds baby
Just give me tonight

I can see with perfect clarity
The cut and color of your love
Your golden heart, 24 carat to me
And one treasure is enough

Real love comes easy
When your heart is set right
Don't give me diamonds baby
Just give me tonight

*Music and lyrics, (c) BethWoodMusic, 2008.


One of the best parts of my recent four-day search for rest and sanity was a trip up to North Carolina--okay, verrrry northern Alpharetta--to Chukkar Farm.  I was introduced to this quaint oasis of horse farms, polo fields and music making in 2008, when my client Beth performed as part of their concert series.

Beth was back this weekend, so we made the trek up past the 'burbs and into the countryside.  The air was clean and crisp and smelled of horses and hay and wholesomeness.  Couples and families gathered at tables and on blankets, sipping on wine and beer, chasing after children and dogs and soaking up the last bit of daylight.

What I love about this series is that it's 100% about making music.  It's like jumping back in time and eavesdropping on the Carter Family harmonizing over the campfire on a chilly autum evening, voices weaving above and below and around one another as logs crackle and spit and frogs and crickets chime in.  Songwriters, true musicians--not ones manufactured by record labels, hidden under layers of autotuning, elaborate costumes, heavy make-up and concert-stage theatrics--stripped bare, completely exposed, singing, playing, harmonizing and making music together.  On the spot.  So organic and real.

And then I thought these musicans, all of them hugely talented, ambitious and driven.  But they haven't sold out.   They're not playing major amphitheatres or getting mainstream radio play, touring the world on private jets and trashing swanky hotel rooms.  They're bunking in each others' houses, playing in every-day clothes in tiny venues across the country where people actually LISTEN to the music.  They're earning each and every dollar the hard and the decent and the right away.

It resonates with me, especially as I try to figure out how to grow and scale my business and still be "me."  To provide a service, to share what I see as a gift, in a very simple, raw, honest and authentic way.  Maybe it's idealistic, but maybe, just maybe, it's possible.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Took a Vacation So I Could Work

Yes, I recognize the irony of posting a blog about not hiding and then essentially going into hiding.  For two weeks.

I'll be honest--I wasn't well.  I was overwhelmed, depressed and physically and emotionally exhausted.  I had given others so much from my own well that mine was completely dry.  

When you're a solopreneur, taking time off seems impossible.  Indulgent.  Incomprehensible.

Until you find yourself like I did last month--completely worn-out, anxious, bone-tired and completely useless to myself, my clients, my friends and my family.

So, I took a break.  A REAL break.  Four days of nothing but amazing food, people and experiences.  I stopped trying to control and plan and manipulate every single second, step, decision, workout.  I stopped trying to "power through" and let my mind and my body rest.  Of course, my definition of "rest" included a 10K race!  But my approach was different.  It was quiet, meditative, open--more about the experience and my energy and effort rather than some must hit or I'll-wallow-in-self-pity-for-two-weeks-because-I-clearly-suck time goal.

So, here I am, rested, peaceful and determined, diving into the second half of my year determined to figure out the meaning of this unfamiliar concept called "balance."


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